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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The League: “The Tailgate”

Illustration for article titled The League: “The Tailgate”
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It’s a testament to just how good this season of The League has been so far that this episode—a completely fine installment that would have ranked highly in past years—felt like a big shoulder shrug. It still had funny moments, chief among them Ken Marino’s turn as jizz-obsessed high school bully “The Seed”—but overall, “The Tailgate” is more forgettable than any installment in season four.

It centers on Andre’s usual harebrained and well-meaning scheme to rent an enormous RV—he christens it “Dre-town,” complete with accompanying banner—and cart the whole gang to tailgate at a Bears game. Ruxin, who is resistant to any activity that would detract from his iPhone-and-toilet “tinker stinker” time, is enticed by lavish box seats and a private bathroom. Taco swiftly decides to move into the RV altogether to run his bootleg T-shirt business. The hallmark: an “Olimpix Londin” shirt.

When game day arrives, Andre’s vegetarian reverie is interrupted by the rest of the gang’s need for meat, and the arrival of the Vatos Locos and their “bump bus.” This scene seemed all too much like the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia tailgate, and the conceit is pretty much the same. High-school bullies have arrived to torture the characters, thanks to Andre’s habit of posting his every move on Facebook. The difference is that the Locos have dissent among their ranks—the hapless Tug doesn’t quite know when to stop the homoerotic goofing around that they do. The Vatos lure Jenny over to their side of the parking lot with ample alcohol and a working bathroom. Ruxin sulks, Kevin eats a hamburger that’s basically raw, and Pete narrates the McArthur goings-on in a David Attenborough voice.

Ken Marino steals the episode in the role of Andre’s tormenter, The Seed. He arrives clad in camouflage pants and a UFC T-shirt to intimidate his prey and rub his semen on everything in sight. In the final act of the episode, the Vatos face off against the Dre-tones for rights to the Vatos’ bathroom or the Tones’ box seats. Jenny—who’s outraged that the Vatos’ RV bathroom turns out to have a peephole to watch ladies on the toilet—tackles the Body Gibriani with a masterful arm to the throat. But it’s Kevin who has the final blow: a shower of raw meat-tinged vomit that stops The Seed in his tracks. “The Seed got seeded!” Ruxin summarizes jubilantly. Point and match to the dubiously named Dre-tones. Tinker stinkers all round.